The Source for Youth Ministry

Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

Finding Dory (11/15/2016)

Rated PG for mild thematic elements.

Starring the voices of Ellen DeGeneres, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill and Ty Burrell

Directed by Andrew Stanton

Todd's Rating: Worth Buying

Dynamic ImageDisney & Pixar just keep winning…just keep winning.

Finding Dory reunites everyone’s favorite forgetful blue tang, Dory, with her friends Nemo and Marlin on a search for answers about her past. What can she remember? Who are her parents? And where did she learn to speak Whale?

As far as sequels go, Finding Dory is far better than most. And if this wasn’t a sequel, if Finding Nemo was never made and none of us were waiting 13 years, we’d all be blown away by Finding Dory. It’s visually stunning and funny and boasts some terrific performances from a strong voice cast. It’s also heartwarming without being heavy-handed.

The problem is, there is a Finding Nemo and the bar that it set is really high. And in the 13 years we’ve also been treated to films like WALL-E, Up, Inside Out and a few others. So with this in mind, how good is Finding Dory? It’s really, really good.

This time, it’s all about Ellen DeGeneres returning to the character of Dory, a blue tang who has trouble remembering. Ellen is obviously talented but we really get to see her perfect comic timing and energy. If I’m being honest, Dory could be pretty annoying, but you never get annoyed or frustrated by her. And Brooks’ dry, self-deprecating humor is the perfect balance.

When Dory begins to experience flashbacks we are introduced to her parents (Diane Lane and Eugene Levy). We discover that they taught her tricks and songs to help with her memory and to keep her safe. They are kind, patient and loving as they struggle with Dory’s disability. This whole storyline was far more emotional than I expected.

With the help of Marlin and Nemo as well as various other sea creatures, including a reluctant octopus named Hank (Ed O’Neill), a nearsighted whale shark (Kaitlin Olson) and an insecure beluga whale (Ty Burrell), Dory does the impossible. The entire supporting cast is consistently strong and provides just the right amount of heart and humor, but O’Neill is the true scene-stealer.

My family and I thoroughly enjoyed Finding Dory and I’m confident you are your family will too. It’s “Worth Buying.”

Yes this one is perfect for the entire family.

  1. How would you describe Dory’s “disability”?

  2. How did Dory’s parents handle her disability? What were some of the tricks they taught her?

  3. How do you respond when people frustrate you because they are different?

  4. Read Ephesians 4:2

      Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.

  5. How did Dory’s parents live out this verse? How did Marlin and Nemo?

  6. How can you live out this verse with people who annoy you?

Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.

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